Accounts assistants help with the processing, authorising and recording of all financial transactions for an organisation. They work for companies across a range of sectors. They are sometimes called bookkeepers.
Your duties will vary depending on the organisation you work for.
You could be:
processing daily bank transactions
calculating and recording totals of transactions
paying company bills
processing credit card, debit card and cash transactions
maintaining records, sales and purchase ledgers and VAT returns
contacting customers about outstanding invoices and taking correct payments
processing wages and expenses
using specialist accounting software.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Accounts assistants can earn from £16,000 to £22,000, rising to around £30,000 with experience.
Responsibilities or nature of duties may vary depending upon the size or type of business. In a smaller firm, for example, you may control all financial activities, but in a larger organisation your duties may be more specific or specialised.
If you work full time you will work about 35-39 hours a week.
Some employers may ask for subjects at National 5, including English and Maths, while others may look for an HNC (SCQF Level 7) in a business or finance related discipline.
For an HNC course, you usually need 1 Higher and some subjects at National 5.
You could do a Modern Apprenticeship in Accounting leading to AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting at SCQF Level 5 or ACCA Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting at SCQF Level 5.
Studying for the Foundation Apprenticeship Accountancy (SCQF Level 6) while in fifth and sixth year at school could count towards entry requirements of a course or Modern Apprenticeship. Entry requirements vary between colleges, but you usually require some subjects at National 5 including English and Maths.
You can look for jobs on the government’s Find a job website or on other recruitment websites.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
able to work under pressure at busy times
fast and accurate when dealing with figures
able to work well in a team
honest and dependable.
You should also have:
excellent communication skills
good IT skills
accurate cash handling skills
good customer care skills.
You get on the job introductory training in computing software systems, handling cash, credit and debit cards and operating credit accounts.
Your employer might arrange part time training for you for SVQs.
As a Modern Apprentice, you would train on the job as well as attending college or a training centre on a day or block release basis.
If you are working for a big company, your employer might offer you training for a supervisory or post. From there you might go on to train as a departmental manager.
You might complete further AAT qualifications to become an accounting technician.